Update 11:15 a.m.: The boil water advisory for Hay River has been lifted by the Chief Environmental Health Officer.

At around 11 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the Department of Health and Social Services notified residents of Hay River, K’atl’odeeche First Nation, Enterprise and Kakisa that tap water is now drinkable.

The Department of Health and Social Services recommends that residents and businesses flush their water supply by doing the following:
– Run all cold water faucets and drinking fountains for 1 minute before use;
– Flush and clean all water-using equipment, such as soda fountains, coffee makers
and ice-making machines, for at least 1 minute;
– Change all point of use filters (tap mounted carbon filters, Brita filters, etc);
– Flush and clean all coffee machines;
– Drain and flush all ice-making machines;
– Run water softeners through a regeneration cycle;
– Drain and refill hot water heaters; and
– Drain and clean water-holding tanks.

Hay River officials are hopeful the boil water advisory currently in place will soon be lifted, after some positive tests.

In a town council meeting on Monday, Mike Auge, director of public works, said test results from tests conducted at the Old Town Truckville station were “looking good and the residuals were good.”

But tests conducted at the town’s reservoir were not below the maximum turbidity levels required to lift the boil water advisory, likely because the reservoir water is still and has been sitting for longer, explained Auge.

Auge added the results “have us hopeful”, and that more tests will be needed tomorrow to determine if the boil water advisory can be lifted.

The current boil water advisory has been in place since September 2, the longest of the year so far.

Hay River and several neighbouring communities have been put under three different boil water advisories this summer, spending more than 80 days under boil-water advisories this year.

The first began on May 13 and ended on June 16, with the second running from June 19 to July 6. 

Auge said public works have also received water treatment reports – performed by Municipal and Community Affairs to assess the water treatment plant – and are over the reports and putting together a presentation for council.

These inspections will provide further insight into cause and options available to improve filtration, said Glenn Smith, senior administrative officer for Hay River.

Public works are also planning a second attempt at inspecting the water intake line, added Smith.

Public works are also looking to implement some of the immediate recommendations from the MACA report, some of which can be done without too much financial input, said Auge.